Mercedes-Benz has launched a new black cab

Taking a ride in a black cab is on the 'to do' lists of many visitors to London. Of course, they probably envisage hailing a traditionally-shaped LTI TX4 or Metrocab, not a converted van.

Well, that's essentially what the Vito Taxi is. A new model, based on the third-generation Vito 114 CDI Compact, has just been unveiled by Mercedes-Benz. It replaces the version which first appeared in 2008.

Mercedes-Benz Vito 114 CDI London Taxi (2017) Front Side

In order to comply with Public Carriage Office regulations, the latest Vito Taxi is fitted with some very specific features. Key among them is a steering rear axle that enables the mandatory 25 feet (7.62 metres) turning circle to be achieved. Furthermore, the six-seat passenger compartment is wheelchair accessible.

Other standard-specification items include Attention Assist to detect driver drowsiness, electrically-operated sliding doors and powered entrance steps.

A 2.1 litre diesel engine mated to a 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic transmission means the Vito Taxi is hardly future-proof. Nevertheless, it is Euro 6-compliant and a stop-start system should help to reduce exhaust fumes.

For operators outside of the capital, a 'National' variant is also being offered that has a regular fixed rear axle. This is available in front-wheel drive 109 CDI and rear-wheel drive 114 CDI guises, plus customers can choose either Compact or Long body lengths.

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